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Johnny Claes (CLAYS; born 11 August 1916 in Fulham, London, England, United Kingdom – died 3 February 1956 in Brussels, Belgium) was a Belgian racing driver, born in Fulham, England to a Belgian Father and Scottish Mother. Claes was a Jazz musician who became involved in motor Sports after a chance visit to the 1947 French Grand Prix.

Johnny ordering a Talbot-Lago shortly after this visit would compete in this car for much of his career and totalled 23 World Championship Grand Prix starts from 1950 to 1955.

Johnny found World Championship racing tough but would find success in the Liege-Rome-Liege Rally winning the event in 1953, even though his co-driver fell ill and Johnny had to drive single handed for 52 hours. Other successes were achieved in GP des Frontieres in 1950 driving a HWM and 1951 driving a Simca-Gordini. And in 1954 he finished 12th and achieved a class victory in a Porsche at Le Mans, followed up with a 3rd in the 1955 event, sharing the Ecurie Belge Jaguar with Jacques Swaters.

His health started to diminish in 1954 and he passed away suffering from tuberculosis in 1956 not long after his last competitive outing, sharing with Lucien Bianchi at the Liege-Rome-Liege Rally, finishing 3rd.

Formula One CareerEdit

1950Edit

1950 5 Claes

Claes started from the back at Spa

Johnny struggled in 1950 in his Ecurie Belge Talbot-Lago but was a popular diver. At the season starting British Grand Prix he started last and cruised around to an eleventh placed finish. At Monaco he qualified 19th and had a good view of the first lap carnage, picking his way through to finish 7th, a season high followed by 10th at Bremgarten.

In Belgium, for his home Grand Prix, Johnny was allowed to start after missing qualifying due to crashing his Team Truck on the way to the track. His racing car needed to be escorted to the track, driving along the road at night making it to Spa-Francochamps the morning of the race where he finished 10th, 3 laps down.

In France, the Talbot-Lago's suffered overheating issues with Johnny retiring along with many other similar cars and he is also retired from the Italian Grand Prix with the same overheating issues.

Formula One Statistical OverviewEdit

Formula One RecordEdit

Year Entrant Team Pts WDC Pos. Report
Pre-Championship
1949 Ecurie Belge Talbot-Lago-Talbot No Formula One Championship
Formula One World Championship
1950 Ecurie Belge Talbot-Lago-Talbot 0 NC Report
1951 Ecurie Belge Talbot-Lago-Talbot 0 NC Report
1952 Equipe Gordini Simca-Gordini 0 NC Report
Ecurie Belge
HW Motors HWM
Vicomtesse de Walckiers Simca-Gordini
1953 Ecurie Belge Connaught 0 NC Report
Officine Alfieri Maserati Maserati
1954: Did Not Compete
1955 Stirling Moss Ltd. Maserati 0 NC Report
Equipe Nationale Belge Ferrari

Career StatisticsEdit

Entries 25
Starts 23
Pole Positions 0
Race Wins 0
Podiums 0
Fastest laps 0
Points 0

Career ResultsEdit

Complete Formula One results
Year 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Pts Pos
1950 Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of Monaco 48-star U S flag Flag of Switzerland Flag of Belgium Flag of France Flag of Italy 0 NC
11th 7th 10th 8th Ret Ret
1951 Flag of Switzerland 48-star U S flag Flag of Belgium Flag of France Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of Germany Flag of Italy Flag of Spain 1945 1977 0 NC
13th 7th Ret 13th 11th Ret Ret
1952 Flag of Switzerland 48-star U S flag Flag of Belgium Flag of France Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of Germany Flag of the Netherlands Flag of Italy 0 NC
8th Ret 14th 10th DNQ
1953 Flag of Argentina 48-star U S flag Flag of the Netherlands Flag of Belgium Flag of France Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of Germany Flag of Switzerland Flag of Italy 0 NC
Ret Ret 12th Ret Ret
1954 Did not compete in any races
1955 Flag of Argentina Flag of Monaco 48-star U S flag Flag of Belgium Flag of the Netherlands Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of Italy 0 NC
DNS 11th


Key
Symbol Meaning Symbol Meaning
1stWinner Ret Retired
2ndPodium finish DSQ Disqualified
3rd DNQ Did not qualify
5thPoints finish DNPQ Did not pre-qualify
14thNon-points finish TD Test driver
NCNon-classified finish (<90% race distance) DNS Did not start
[+] More Symbols

NotesEdit

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External linksEdit

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